Students Will Make an Impact This Federal Election

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Matthew Gerrits
Vice President Education
Wed, 09/11/2019 - 15:30

When Canadians head to the polls this October, post-secondary students have told federal parties what they’re looking for and they plan to make an impact.

On September 9, together with post-secondary institutions across Canada that represent 900,000 students, the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association (WUSA) signed a joint letter to the federal party leaders [external link].

This national letter reminds the parties that young Canadians are closely watching party platforms this upcoming federal election and it is critical to support student issues if they want their vote. In particular, students want a commitment from every party to:

  • Address the rising costs of education
  • Fund work-integrated learning opportunities for students and support sustainable, high-quality jobs
  • Increase support for Indigenous students and communities

"Students are committed voters, answering the call for a new generation of engaged citizens concerned about their future."

Last election, voter turnout among 18 to 24-year olds increased from 39% to 57%. Young people are engaged and taking a stand to make sure federal party leaders know what the priorities of young Canadians and their families are.

“Students are committed voters, answering the call for a new generation of engaged citizens concerned about their future," said WUSA Vice President Matthew Gerrits. "This election, I call on our local and national candidates to create and endorse policy that will help universities educate the next generation of inventors, businesspeople, doctors, volunteers, leaders and engaged citizens. The Canadian government shapes educational experiences through student research, financial aid, and work-integrated learning, and plays an immense role in financial access for prospective Indigenous students. WUSA will be monitoring and informing Waterloo students of major policy announcements relating to our priorities to inform their votes in this coming election, and students will be making their decisions based on which party best addresses the things that matter to them.”

Eligible voters aged 18-38 make up the single largest voting bloc in Canada and have the power to impact the outcome of the next federal election. At a time when students face the dangerous realities of climate change, rising tuition costs, and crushing post-graduation debt, student associations will be urging their members to vote with these important student priorities in mind. As students come back to their campuses for a new school year, student associations across the country will be working to mobilize students to vote.

For more information, visit [external link].